People are always trying to change their appearance – work out regimens, plastic surgery, anti-aging products, new apparel and identity fraud.  Wait…Identity Fraud?  You read it right – especially if the change in identity can assist you in receiving public housing benefits.  (Who can we hire to host this new reality “Fraud Make-Over” show?)

The Woodbury Patch reports that a Woodbury, MN woman has recently pleaded guilty to one count of Social Security fraud and one count of making false statements to authorities, which enabled her to receive more than $18,000 in federal tax credits.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines public housing fraud as “A criminal act in which individuals, groups, or businesses steal taxpayer’s monies from HUD and its programs.”  In addition, it explains that false claim or alteration of documents during the application process for public housing assistance is considered fraud, and punishable by state and federal law.  The Woodbury fraudster appeared before a judge on July 10, 2012 to explain her guilty plea, revealing that she applied for and received a Social Security card under one name on November 16, 1996.  She then used this false identification to receive low income housing tax credits from the HUD, resulting in $18,000 in rent underpayments since 2004.

The combined efforts of Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office, Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), HUD OIG, and U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations assisted in locating the false identification and ceasing the fraudulent payments.  (Finally state and fed are working together to solve these problems!)

This reality Fraud Make-Over ends in a bust.  The only make-over this fraudulent female may get is a new jumpsuit and a face behind bars.

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